Category Archives: earthquakes

In large earthquakes, the Earth moves for almost everyone

The Global Positioning System has completely revolutionised how geologists study the deformation of the Earth. If you leave a GPS receiver in a fixed location for days, months and years, it is precise enough to measure motions on the millimetre … Continue reading

Categories: earthquakes, paper reviews, tectonics

The dimensions of natural disasters

“If you’re not on a fault zone, a volcanically active zone, or a tsunami zone, you’re probably in a valley that’s prone to flooding or having things tumble down the hills towards you.” So opines risk consultant Tony Taig in … Continue reading

Categories: earthquakes, geohazards, public science

Echoes of Wenchuan: magnitude 6.6 earthquake shakes Sichuan province in west China.

On Saturday morning local time (Friday evening for us in the USA), a magnitude 6.6 earthquake shook up Sichuan province in western China, about 35 km north of the closest city, Ya’an, and 115km west of the provincial capital Chengdu. … Continue reading

Categories: earthquakes, focal mechanisms, tectonics

A week of big earthquakes in Iran

Squashed and squeezed between the Eurasian continent to the north and the northward-moving Arabian plate to the south, it is no surprise that Iran is a seismically active country, and in the past week it has been living up to … Continue reading

Categories: earthquakes, focal mechanisms, tectonics

We have a seismometer in our basement…

Or, more accurately, my department does. And it rather handily picked up last week’s magnitude 8 earthquake near the Santa Cruz Islands (subject of the latest Friday Focal Mechanisms), all the way over in the southwest Pacific. Here’s the seismogram: … Continue reading

Categories: earthquakes, geophysics